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College of Law students play ball to benefit Children's Hospital

December 16, 2011

Anne Elam in middle with husband Jason, surrounded by LSU School of Medicine team, winners of the Softball for Surgery tournament.

The Student Bar Association of Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Law recently raised nearly $4,000 for Children’s Hospital of New Orleans to honor one of its members.

In September, the SBA held a Softball for Surgery tournament against LSU School of Medicine to benefit Children’s Hospital's Cardiothoracic Surgery Division in honor of alumna Anne Elam, J.D. ’09, who, in the fall of 2010, underwent cardiothoracic surgery to reconstruct her tricuspid valve, close an atrial-septal defect and reduce the size of her right atrium.

In the summer of 2006, just before the start of Elam’s first year of law school, doctors realized something was not right with her heart. She had been born with Ebstein’s anomaly, a rare congenital heart defect. In Ebstein’s anomaly, the tricuspid valve—the valve between the chambers on the right side of the heart—does not open and close properly. Blood leaks through the valve, making the heart work less efficiently, which can lead to enlargement of the heart and in some cases, heart failure.

According to SBA fundraising co-director Angela Giglio, they thought this would be a perfect way to get involved in the New Orleans community and give back to those who saved their classmate's life.

“Thankfully, there was a medical staff that was willing to help her. Dr. Joseph Caspi and Dr. Timothy Pettitt of Children’s Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Department performed the corrective procedure, and a talented staff of nurses cared for Anne during her recovery,” Giglio said.

As a result of the complex surgery, Elam has a “new heart.” Her valve is functioning normally and six months post-operative, she has no restrictions. She has returned to work and is a practicing attorney at Adams and Reese L.L.P. in New Orleans.

“The funds raised through this event will help Children’s provide others, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, with new hearts like mine,” said Elam.

Local sponsors and donors for the softball fundraiser included: Naked Pizza; Carrollton Boosters; JC Graphics; Crescent City Distributors; Bruno’s Tavern; Womac Law firm; Adams and Reese L.L.P.; Connick and Connick, L.L.C.; Arthur J. Brewster, attorney and counselor at law; Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss and Hauver, L.L.P.; Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand; Rocky and Carlo’s Restaurant and Bar; Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International- O’Niell Chapter; Association of Women Law Students; Intellectual Property Law Society; Timothy and Janice Gaudet; and Jason and Anne Elam.

For more information, contact Giglio at awgiglio@gmail.com.

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